21 Jul Reducing Deadly Paperwork
Ah, paperwork! Something that must be done; however, no one likes doing it.
Filling out form after form, day after day, can be extremely laborious and costly both in time and money, and now in the age of COVID-19, it can also be deadly.
An average 50 bed residential care home spends up to 2 hours per day per resident completing manual paperwork.
General administration, medication management, clinical care, training, managing purchasing, meal planning, catering, dietary requirements and evidencing everything that happens in between is time consuming.
The amount of documentation and handling of paper across multiple staff and departments presents an increased risk of infection.
Reducing transmission – from the kitchen to the dining room
A recent review of the survival of Covid-19 on surfaces found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days , enabling potential infection to quickly spread in the care home.
To minimise this risk of transmission via paper, folders, clipboards, staff and residents, care homes are turning to digital catering care solutions to reduce the paper trail.
Let’s take for example a resident’s change in diet – a clinician makes a change and either enters this directly into the clinical software and prints out a copy for the kitchen and highlights the changes, or updates the paperwork manually by completing a change of diet form. This form is then walked to the kitchen, handed to the chef or catering team, or left on a desk. This information is then manually updated in an excel program and printed and distributed to all relevant areas across the site, or manually updated on all relevant catering forms across the site.
“Not only is this inefficient, there are also many touch points where viral infections can spread. And this is just one example of a resident’s change!” says Belinda Adams, CEO and Founder of SoupedUp, who has been working in the care home industry for over 20 years.
Technology to increase occupancy
Significant numbers of care homes are reporting a fall in occupancy as being their primary challenge, averaging a 10% drop in new admissions at a time of year when many had waiting lists.
With continuing COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes, families are simply keeping their loved ones at home until the outbreak is under control.
Giving the families piece of mind by reducing the risk of transmission via paper is now not a want, it is a need.
As Belinda points out “You can clean an iPad/tablet or computer – you can’t sterilise a piece of paper!”.